beauty

"I've had thin, flat hair my whole life and now I feel like a mermaid. Here's my secret."

My dead-straight, fine, oomph-less hair had been a lifelong struggle before I was introduced to my Sitting Pretty halo hair piece.

A struggle involving constant “zhuzhing”, copious amounts of thickening products and texture spray, tireless attempts at executing flowing, wavy curls that were destined to fall after a couple of hours, EVEN back-combing it to buggery (look, I was 16, I didn’t know any better).

I’d tried it all, to the point where in recent years I’ve had it chopped down to a blunt-cut lob which I wear in a low ponytail between cuts. Because, honestly, who can be bothered?

Psst – speaking of hair, here are five ways to lift your hair game. Post continues after.

It’s low-maintenance – I’ll give it that. I air-dry it, I don’t own a straightener, it behaves most of the time (bar humidity – hello greasy roots and frizzy ends, no one invited you to the party).

But, most of the time, it just looks flat.

A word no one wants associated with their lewk, right?

I’ve always longed for body; to flip around a luscious head of thick, flowing curls and boast a substantial ponytail.

Hair that isn’t so fine it tangles as soon as the wind blows ever-so-slightly.

Hair that has all the things the back of the conditioner bottle promises.

But ultimately, hair that looks like it’s having a good time, not hair that looks like it just crawled into the office after a big weekend on a Monday morning.

Enter: Sitting Pretty.

The genius company who introduced me to Claudette, who has changed my life for the better.

Claudette is my new halo hairpiece.

We’re running away together.

We are in love. Image: Supplied.
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What is a halo hair piece?

Let me clue you in:

It's a band of 100 per cent Remy hair (from a real human head) designed to thicken and lengthen all the while looking completely seamless and downright fab.

All at an affordable price for such high-quality hair, and without clips, glue and hassle.

(So perfect for a perpetually running late gal like me).

How to order your hair piece

First things first, you need to choose your thickness (fine, medium or thick). I chose medium (100 grams) for extra oomph.

While they all come delivered the same length (20 inches) mine was pre-cut to a couple of inches longer than my natural hair, with the intention of having it cut in further for a more natural finish.

Then, you need to get the colour right. This involved sending a photo of my hair from the back to Sitting Pretty to colour match.

This is a very important step. Their extensions use a multi-strand colouring system, which means every single strand is a unique shade of your hair colour to make up a natural look, so you want to make sure the image is taken in natural light, with a focus on the ends in particular.

I've got a pretty random haircolour - sort of lightish mousy brown, so I'll be honest, I was sceptical it would be a true colour match.

But when it arrived, it was bang on. 

Almost eerily so.

Is this...actually my hair?

It arrived in neat, minimalist packaging, with plenty of written information including a step-by-step guide on integrating it with your natural locks, how it's supposed to sit, care instructions, and how to tighten the band should you have a tiny pea head like me.

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The box.
Your new-hair manual.

How to put it in place

There are plenty of instruction videos available on their website and social media pages if that's more your thing.

But basically, you affix the band about an inch from the front of your hairline, then use the pointy end of the comb provided to pull out your natural hair from underneath. Easy peasy.

Blending it in with your natural hair

I've never used hair extensions before, so the first time I did this, I'll admit I noticed quite a jarring difference between the just-below-shoulder length of my natural hair and the halo.

But the colour match was downright incredible.

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On my next trip to the hairdresser, I decided to get some advice on how to address the length. The lovely Wizdom from All About Salon in Surry Hills inspected the halo and my natural hair carefully, coming to the conclusion that the only way to integrate it perfectly would be to chop layers into my natural hair and bring the halo down to the same length.

Now, because I'm probably not going to wear it everyday at this stage, we both decided that this might not be the best move - my straight block ends give the illusion of thickness in my fine locks remember, and I don't really want to lose that while my hair is still quite short.

Instead, he suggested curling my hair with the halo in each time I use it, or clipping parts of it back to achieve the look of layers from the back. This way, I could enjoy a bit of length as well.

It would be my party hair.

The result

Before.
After.
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Here it is from the back. Look at all that hair!

Blending in the different lengths was a little fiddly, but (and I can't stress this enough) because the colour is such a perfect match, the result really did look seamless.

The pros

Not only is the band completely hidden from view underneath my natural hair, it's super comfortable. I kept forgetting I was wearing it, but whenever I caught my reflection I couldn't help but think: "Daaammmn".

It has been getting easier to blend each time, so I can definitely see myself wearing it everyday when my natural hair grows a bit longer and I do opt for a few layers (at Wizdom's advice).

In the meantime, I've been wearing it with my hair half-up, half-down, and have had so many compliments. Seriously.

The overall verdict

As someone who's always been a bit lazy with her thin hair, this is a perfect way to achieve length and body without the hassle of clips, glue and countless trips to the hairdresser. It literally takes seconds to put the halo in, and once you have the knack for blending it in, you'll be laughing.

The halo does end up being a lot cheaper than extensions, too. Depending on your chosen thickness, prices range from $199 - $399, which is substantially less than some clip-in extensions, which can cost upwards of $800 depending on the quality of hair.

I do think it's worth having it cut in properly for the desired effect, but for now, I'm enjoying the extra length for a bit of fun.

Claudette...I think we're going to be very happy together.

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